The audacity of Veronica Partridge is something to behold. She just won’t leave well enough alone.
With one small article she managed to
1) not judge anyone
2) be honest about her own behavior and how she had decided to change
3) take responsibility for how her actions might negatively impact someone else
She didn’t use the “M” word – modesty – but, she may as well have, as if that principle has any relevance for Christian women.
Okay, so I’m being a little sarcastic but, it’s getting ridiculous.
Show up with your personal standards and you are automatically deemed to be judging others who don’t share your conviction. And when you say, “I’m not judging others, this is my personal conviction,” you are automatically deemed to be judging others who don’t share your conviction.
Why? Because there is one value you can’t challenge in a society that has systematically removed God from the public square: No one has the right to oppose any opinion I may hold and any hint that you suggest otherwise threatens my truth.
It’s as if the 21st Century has turned everyone into Napoleon Dynamite.
“What are you going to do today, Napoleon?”
“Whatever I want! GOSH!”
There is a degree of logic, here. Take God out of the picture and all bets are off. Without a moral law or restraint outside of myself, I can do whatever I want as long as you don’t have the power and will to stop me.
If someone wants to get her tee shirt out of a can of paint and spray it on, whose business is that? (insert relevant male example here)
Follow the logic and it’s pretty easy to make an argument for no clothes, at all.
No it isn’t. If the basis of the position is, I can dress how I want. I dress like this because it makes me feel comfortable. You’re the one with the problem, you have the responsibility not to look and lust, then who’s to say where the line is to be drawn?
Which raises an interesting question, if Lady Godiva came riding naked into town on her horse, is she the one with the problem or is it all the men who won’t stop looking when a strong gust of wind blows her hair behind her back?
Wearing your underwear in public? (what else should you call clothing that displays every nook and cranny) . . . no big deal but, you probably shouldn’t be naked in public, should you? It gets confusing if God’s not involved.
But God is involved.
He said in the Bible to dress modestly (1 Timothy 2:9). And everyone of us will give an account, one day, when we stand before Him of how we dressed and how we looked lustfully at others.
From God’s perspective, the responsibility for all aspects of this issue runs both directions.
Those who wish to argue walking down the street in your underwear is no big deal and it’s okay if Victoria doesn’t have any Secrets, plastering pictures of women in sexy bras all over their windows, will have to take it up with God. You’re argument is with Him and you’ll definitely get your chance. (Hebrews 9:27)
A moment ago, it was said that God is involved but, He’s not the only one. Someone else is involved, too: My 12 year-old son.
A couple of months ago, he came to me, distraught that from seemingly nowhere, he was suddenly struck with a deep sense of awareness and interest in girls . . . and not just girls, generally, but very (very) specifically, right down to the curves . . . all of them. I immediately hugged him and told him how great it all was – that it was completely normal, natural, and good. Son, you’re in the process of becoming a man and I think that’s awesome!
Now, about those specifics, and the argument that it’s all on the guy, or on the girl, as the case may be – modesty runs both directions – I ask a simple question: Should young boys coming of age bear all the responsibility for the moral struggles they face? Does any degree of responsibility lay elsewhere?
My son and I are having some deep conversations about lust, the enemy’s counterfeit of God’s best, the responsibility to exercise self-control, and averting our eyes at appropriate times. He is being taught his responsibility to walk uprightly. I’m teaching him how to do battle in a world that often doesn’t care about purity, modesty, and respect for women.
But, I’m hoping that you, too, care about the impact you may be having on my young son . . . all the young sons . . . who are becoming sexually aware young men. If you’ve not thought about modesty and how the way you dress affects a young boy entering puberty, would you be willing to consider these things?
We live in community. I’m striving to do my part as his dad. Will you consider the positive part you can play? We may never meet but that doesn’t mean you’re not having a major impact on a young boy somewhere.
No one is advocating burqas before breakfast but don’t buy into the spirit of the age that says however sexy you dress makes no difference because, friend, I can tell you, it matters a great deal to a 12 year-old boy who is becoming a man and desires to be a loving, faithful husband and father some day.
And that’s really all Veronica Partridge was trying to say – one’s choices can, and do affect others.
‘Thank you” to all the thoughtful women out there, for thinking of others and, in essence, for thinking of my son.
*That’s how I see it. What’s your perspective?
Matt is married to Lisa Jacobson; they are raising their eight children in the Pacific Northwest. Matthew is an author, speaker, blogger, and pastor of Tumalo Bible Fellowship. Matthew and Lisa are also the authors of the best-selling “his-and-her” marriage books, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband and 100 Ways to Love Your Wife.